The “cold open” is a storytelling technique which throws the reader directly into the action to build up a sense of danger, humour, or mystery. COLD OPEN STORIES was launched in June 2019 as a love-letter to short fiction and weird fiction that have the power to quickly throw us into new worlds and encourage us to reflect on our culture. You can read and listen to Cold Open Stories for free, and we encourage our audience to support our efforts by giving to sponsored charities.

Colyn De Graaff


Colyn De Graaff is a communications director, intercultural advisor, and designer living in Canada. Familiar with Warhammer at a young age, he first entered the Warhammer community when he launched daily lore posts for Lorehammer (@lorehammer). An avid fan of radio dramas and theatre, he launched Cold Open Stories in June 2019 with the goal of merging Warhammer's setting with the presentation of old time radio. The first casting call attracted a handful of performers, but after two releases spiked into the high-hundreds. After the success of the audio dramas, he launched the short fiction athologies on the site to tackle the stigma behind fan fiction and give amateur authors a place to explore non-canon stories. He currently serves as the site's creative director and produces the audio dramas while supervising the releases of short fiction



Robert Renato Hack is a composer and sound designer living in Hungary. He creates soundscapes and original music for COLD OPEN STORIES and produces unofficial Warhammer 40,000 music for other creators to use in their videos (upon request). You can find more of his work at https://www.robertrenato.com/officio-audiorum/



Orniris Terensi is an illustrator, concept artist, and sculptor of fantasy and science fiction and lives in Barcelona, Spain. As a huge fan of the Warhammer universe, he enjoys creating new pieces from characters to environments from the rich and grimdark world. His talent can be seen in the many covers of our audio dramas and narrative fiction.



Thomas Pham is a journalist and freelance writer living in the United States. He got his first taste of tabletop gaming playing D&D in the 3rd grade, and has been woefully addicted to the hobby every since.



Tim McGrady, a.k.a. TauMan, has been for over twenty years a professional technical writer, in the medical and manufacturing industries. He has been playing WH40K since 2005, when his son convinced him to buy the Battle for Macragge starter set. The thoughtless act of buying himself a set of metal Tau Pathfinders has since led him down the path of writing WH40K lore fiction in 2012. Since 2015, he has worked on the Expanded Tau Lexicon on the Advanced Tau Tactica website, and in 2020, he joined the Cold Open Stories staff as an editor.



Stephen Rhodes is a professional scriptwriter and narrative designer with almost a decade of experience producing high quality scripts and written content. He has worked on numerous AAA tiles for studios including Ubisoft, DONTNOD, CD Projeckt RED, Deep Silver, and Traveller's Tales.



Mia Pallas is a military wife and mother of three, who lives in Canada. Her fascination with Warhammer first began when she stumbled across an online role play for the setting. Since then, she has become a council member for the Warhammer 40k homebrew wiki, and organizes community interviews with Black Library authors.



Lukasz Furmaniak is a freelance writer based in London. A long-time creator of content for tabletop games, he has contributed to the creation of Dystopian Wars and 1879, as well as being a play tester for Shades of Vengeance. He has also branched out to podcasting, organising The Tritone Gambit, an actual play RPG podcast set in the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 setting using the Dark Heresy RPG system.



Jack Shelton is a Primary School Teacher in the UK. He is an avid reader, especially of fantasy and science-fiction, and has been a fan of all things Warhammer since he wandered into a Games Workshop store as a young boy.



Stephen Abdallah is a filmmaker based in Sydney, Australia. He is a long time Warhammer fan and a maniacal terrain and diorama tinkerer. Primarily a visual person, it wasn’t until hearing Cold Open Stories’ 'However Small, However Hidden' that the full possibilities of audio drama were revealed. He attributes his love of miniatures to his Grandfather’s train sets, and his love of English and editing to his Grandmother’s firm threats that he should finish his homework.

Awards / Accolades

  • Canada’s Top 100 Podcasts – Drama: Chartable 2020
  • Great Britain’s Top 100 Podcasts – Drama: Chartable 2020
  • AudioVerse Awards Finalist 2019: Best Performance of a Leading Role – Cari Scholtens as Ardel Mane, When All Lights Have Gone Out
  • AudioVerse Awards Finalist 2019: Best Performance of a Supporting Role – Carla Mack as Abigail Pike, When All Lights Have Gone Out